Monday, July 31, 2006

 

A Blog Post Wherein I Sound Like the MSM

Yes all of them ...

Many of the things about which I criticize the Israeli side, of course, apply just as much if not more so to the "other side". So, I guess, at the risk of sounding like the MSM, "both sides are bad".

Like many, I am woefully ignorant of Islam, though I have read the Koran and some other Islamic texts. To what degree does Islam, in accepting much of the mythos of Jews and Christians, accept the Prophetic tradition? How does Islam feel about those who seek victim-hood? Who go out of their way to place themselves and their kin and countrymen in danger so that they can claim the mantle of martyrdom? Are those who claim the mantle of Islam in terrorizing Israelis as duplicitous as those who claim the mantle of Judaism in their response to such terrorism or in their occupational adventures? Or is the martyrdom complex something we Jews ought to avoid as a Toevah?

Perhaps the ultra-Orthodox are right? We are being punished for a toevah? But they've mis-identified the toevah: not homosexuality, which as we know it today does not seem to be a toevah, but for certain attitudes that ought to be foreign to the Jewish people?

Comments:
My understanding of Islam leads me to believe that those opposing the existence of Israel as a part of Islamic dogma are akin to those who opposed equal rights for blacks here because of Christian dogma. Each are using their religion to bolster their bigotry, not reflecting any objective understanding of their supposed faiths.

To whit, an anecdote:

I had to debate a zealous member of the Nation of Islam once in college (for a grade, no less!) He was one of the most ignorant, obnoxious, vile racists I've ever met and was later expelled and prosecuted for a hate crime (decided a homosexual living in my dorm was an insult to his race and beat him within inches of his life). On the other end, the wonderful lady who provided daycare for my children when I lived in Chicago was an Indian Muslim, who hosted the Muslim equivalent of Bible study in her house each week. She, and her husband, devout Muslims, cared for as though they were their's and were two of the finest people I've been privaleged to know.

Much of what Muslim extremists quote as dogma is the same literalist rot that Christian fundamentalists quote here. I think that's why fundamentalist Christians hate Muslim extremists so passionately; they're far more similar than different.
 
Much of what Muslim extremists quote as dogma is the same literalist rot that Christian fundamentalists quote here. - Sam. Sam

I certainly agree (and see my comment above on Muslims supporting Israel). Indeed, I remember reading in the NY Times magazine a summary of the views of some Fundamentalist Muslim thinker about Judaism and Christianity that went something like this:

"Judaism is too legalistic, Christianity too much rejects legalism and Islam is just right."

What's interesting is that you hear the same argument with similar wording to this guy's argument (to which my summary does no justice) made by apologists for other religions:

Jew: "Islam is too legalistic, Christianity too much rejects legalism and Judaism is just right."

Catholic: "Islam and Judaism are too legalistic (in different ways), Protestantism too much rejects legalism and Catholicism is just right."

Fundie Protestant: "Islam, Judaism and Catholicism are too legalistic (in different ways), liberal Protestantism too much rejects legalism and Fundie Protestantism is just right."

etc. ...

It might still be interesting, though, as an exercize in comparative religion to see what mainstream Islam has to say about the martyrdom complex vs. normative (if not as mainstream as it ought to be) Judaism vs. (the various denominations of) Christianity.
 
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